Post # 1
My fiance’s mother died a few years ago and since then his relationship with his father has been basically non-existent. His father has been very negative during our entire planning process. He has, on more than one occasion, stated that he is not coming to the wedding, told him he hopes we struggle, etc. He has not contributed anything financially or emotionally to the wedding. He claims he has no money to contribute, but his lavish lifestyle says otherwise. There are many, many other factors involved that aren’t worth mentioning. My question is this: my fiancé has explained to his father that he does not want him to bring a “guest” to his wedding. His father is not currently dating anyone, but more importantly, my fiancé is still having difficulty dealing with his mothers death and would have trouble seeing his father with someone else, especially on his wedding day. Therefore we invited only his father on the invitation, no guest was included. His father responded for two, and wrote “+ guest” underlined with several explanation points. He didn’t even put a name, obviously indicating that he doesn’t even know who he is bringing, but will bring someone out of spite. My fiancé is very upset by this and we are both stressed out. I want to email his father the following:
Until all responses are back – we can only accept the number of guests listed on the envelope. If you had any clue or consideration for ****** feelings-you would understand that he would prefer you not bring a “guest” to his wedding. He has explained this to you. I don’t understand why you are trying to make this more difficult and stressful for us. I think you are forgetting this day belongs to ****** and I. This is honestly the very last thing we want to waste time worrying about.
I understand its a little harsh, but there is honestly no ‘beating around the bush’ with his father. We have tried to be tactful in the past but it has clearly been unsuccessful.Thoughts??
Post # 3
I am so sorry that you are in this situation. 🙁
I understand how difficult it would be for your Fiance to see his father with someone else on your wedding day.
Have you discussed with your FI your desire to send an email? If so, I think you have every right to send a “matter of fact” email (as you wrote above) to his father. Ultimately this is your day and your FIs day, and you should be making the decisions that are best for you both, especially if you have paid for and planned the entire day.
I would be interested to see what advice other Bees have, because I have not personally had to deal with this type of situation. I do, however, think you have every right to tell him that he is not welcome to bring a guest.
Good luck. Your day will be amazing!
Post # 4
Your response sounds appropriate. Ugh, I don’t even know what I would do, short of excommunicating his dad or dragging him to family therapy. I’m sorry that you guys have to deal with that!
Post # 5
I don’t think you should be emailing his dad, your fiancé should. Even if he copies and pastes that exact message, don’t get in the middle. Let him be responsible for dealing with his family
Post # 6
I think your email is a bit harsh (but I understand your frustration!) and I would not send it. I think you should pass this to your Fiance to handle. I always find it’s better for each of us to handle our own family members.
Can he talk with his father and see who he wants to bring? Is it really just a random date? Are you extending +1s to everyone else and just excluding him? If that’s the case well you may have to just allow him to bring who he wants to bring.
Post # 7
Agree with @MsJ2theZ:
STAY OUT OF THIS… it is a “family” matter between the Groom and his Dad… if you do anything it will make your Fiance look bad (his Dad can then make very derogatory comments to his son about getting his Girlfriend to do his dirty work, you being the family pit-bull, etc). This would be bad for your FH’s ego, and relationship with his Father as a Man (if his Dad is this big a Dick, there are chances that there will be future issues, and it is your Hubby’s role to Defend & Protect HIS WIFE & FAMILY). Period.
Hopefully Dick will get the message, and not bring along Jane just out of spite !!
Lol, your best bet might be if he is ticked off enough to not come at all (although your Hubby might not think that)
Post # 8
It sounds like a pretty stressful time for everyone involved! Just from where I’m standing, it doesn’t sound like your fiance’s father is dealing at all well with the loss of his wife (I’m guessing they were still married?), and given how their relationship has deteriorated so badly since your fiance’s mother passed away, perhaps your fiance’s father has depression? Obviously he still doesn’t have the right to treat you guys like shit, but there are reasons for everyone’s behaviour other than “they’re a dickhead intent on pissing us off.”
Is his father planning on bringing a “date” or just a regular guest? Sometimes people do bring friends to weddings as a plus one if they feel awkward or that they may be on their own a lot during the ceremony/reception.
I would say cut the father in law some slack – yes, your fiance has lost a mother, but Father-In-Law has lost a wife (you two are getting married – how would you feel in his situation?). It doesn’t excuse his behaviour at all, but if you look at his reasons for it, you can see where he’s coming from and speak to him on a level that works for you both.
Having said that, I don’t know the situation as well as you guys do – the father in law could just be a dickhead determined to ruin your day! Good luck sorting it out, either way – I’m sure you’ll have a great day regardless of what happens 🙂
Post # 9
I would reword it and have it come from your fiance. You need to stay out of it for now. Something like
“I am sorry if you misunderstood your invitation but we can only accept the number of guests listed on the envelope. I have already explained how I felt regarding my preference that you not bring a date, so I’m pretty sure that there was no misunderstanding. I’m already trying to deal with not having my mother here on my wedding day and I don’t understand why you are trying to make this more difficult and stressful for us. I think that you are forgetting this day belongs to ****** and I. This is honestly the very last thing we want to waste time worrying about. If you’re incapable of attending your own son’s wedding without some random woman as your date, then you are more than welcome to stay home.”
Honestly, his father is being a massive asshole. His presence will likely cause more pain than his absence and you will probably have a better time without him there.
Post # 10
Can you maybe consider this from your Future Father-In-Law perspective. Yes it will be hard for your Fiance to see his dad at his wedding with someone else (though Future Father-In-Law hasn’t said he is bringing a woman maybe he plans to bring a male friend?). But don’t you think it might be hard for him to attend his son’s wedding with the absence of his wife/your FI’s mum so apparent and that he might need someone there to support him?
Post # 11
Im sorry but Im gonna go a little off the grid here and not agree with you at all. Granted Future Father-In-Law is being a jerk however being the father of the groom does kinda means he gets to bring someone. Im sorry your Fiance is having a hard time dealing with the death of his mother but you said its been a few years right? Why hasnt he gotten counseling if it still bothers him that much.
As adults we all know that if a spouse passes away then the other spouse goes on with their life such as it is. Maybe his father is moving on, maybe your Fiance needs counseling to help him move on from his grief. Does he really expect his father to go through the rest of his life with no one to share it with and if he does find someone to share it with is he suppose to exclude her from family events because it might upset his grown son?
Future Father-In-Law but Fiance is also being unreasonable to expect his father to be alone. Maybe Future Father-In-Law is worried about being sad on your wedding day and needs someone there to hold his hand since you and Fiance will be busy getting married.
Im not being snarky. But how would you feel if your grown son told you that you cant bring a date to his wedding?
It might happen one of these days if you have children.
Post # 12
I think your fiance needs to discuss this with his father, on the phone or (even better) in person. You need to step out of things– this is their issue to sort out, and has lots more to do with their general relationship than anything else, so it’s not your place to get in the middle. Let your fiance handle it.
Also it really needs to be a phone conversation at a minimum. In person is a lot better. Having a tense and uncomfortable conversation like this via email is only going to lead to misunderstandings and even more animosity.
Post # 13
@TexasSpringBride: I have to say, I’m inclined to agree with you.
The father of the groom should be permitted a guest if he’s a widow. If they were divorced, you would have given each of them guests. And if it’s been a couple of years, he may want to get someone to talk to about why. I apologize if I sound like a jerk.
Your Future Father-In-Law shouldn’t have added an invitation to your response card. But your Fiance should be the one handling this, not you. Don’t get in the middle of family drama, it never ends well.
Post # 14
Your fiancé has to be the one to confront him. Don’t make the situation worse by doing it yourself.
Post # 15
@TexasSpringBride: Im sorry but Im gonna go a little off the grid here and not agree with you at all. Granted Future Father-In-Law is being a jerk however being the father of the groom does kinda means he gets to bring someone. Im sorry your Fiance is having a hard time dealing with the death of his mother but you said its been a few years right? Why hasnt he gotten counseling if it still bothers him that much.
I agree wholeheartedly. Your post was almost exactly what I would have said.
OP, you need to step back and let Fiance deal with this. First, I would find out who exactly he intends to bring. If it’s a woman, perhaps you could arrange to meet her before the wedding so it’s not such a shock on the wedding day. And who knows, maybe he just wants to bring a buddy. You could be totally overreacting for no reason.
I would never suggest your Fiance “just get over it” but if he is having this much trouble dealing with the thought of his father with someone else a couple of years after his mother’s death, he should probably seek counseling to help him get over his loss.
Post # 16
1. Even if he is loaded he not obligated to pay any part of your wedding.
2. Even if you hate your father in law that email is over the top and all types of disrespectful. It’s you pouring gasoline and lighting a match and making a bad situation worse. You should help your Fi, cope in anyway you can, and be a support system. It would also be nice to be a voice of reason if he is still emotional or hasn’t dealt ith is mothers death.
3. Ultimately a plus one is your choice to make as a couple. I suspect father in law is also being as childish as you and may really trying to bring a guest out of spite because you pushed the issue. I’m deep sorry for the death of your Fi mother, but he needs to come to grips with the fact that his father’s love life doesn’t end because his mother is dead. It’s been a couple of years now and if Fil is dating someone or would like some company, frankly it none of your Fi’s business. He has the right to move on with his life.
4. Having lost a parent, I think your Fi would want to do as much to keep a relationship with his father. THat doesn’t mean he allows himself ot be pushed around or treated badly. It just means that he establishes boundaries for his father, and respects his father boundaries when it comes to his personal life.
5. I think the best role for you to play this is from a position of support, a voice of reason when it’s needed, instead of adding drama, stress, and making a bad situation worse.